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Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)

Gerry Havinga

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Dear Evolver community.

Since a few weeks I have been following an advertisement for a second hand Evolver Desktop here in the Netherlands (someone is selling about 40km from where I live).

A few months ago I purchased a beautiful, brand new, amazing, Rev2 and am now very interested in everything Dave Smith has produced and is producing  :).

The advertisement clearly states "rubber buttons are missing", I am not sure what that means. Price owner is asking, is around 350 Euros.

My question is shall I make an offer and attempt to purchase this instrument, in other words will it complement the Rev2 nicely? The alternative would be to wait a year (or two) till I have the cash and purchase a new/second hand Prophet 12 (also a hybrid).

Thanks in advance.
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Bitwig v1 and v2. Trying to become daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541

chysn

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Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2017, 05:01:07 AM »
If your choice is really between a Desktop Evolver and a Prophet 12, I'd definitely go with the Prophet 12. The Evolver sounds great, and you'll be able to get sounds that you can't get with the REV2, but the interface isn't really enjoyable.

The Desktop Evolver doesn't have any "rubber buttons," so that's kind of a mystery. Best guess is that it's missing the knobs. But the price is what I'd expect to see for an Evolver in great condition.

DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2017, 10:09:34 AM »
I agree with chysn on this. Regarding the so called "rubber buttons": Those are probably the rubber caps for the encoders. You could order a set of Prophet knobs (they don't look the same of course) as a replacement from DSI, but you'd have to add shipping costs to that. If you decided for that option, I wouldn't buy the Desktop Evolver for more than 300 Euros, because as chysn said, you'd usually pay around 350 for one in mint condition.

Instead of doing that or saving up for a used or new Prophet 12, you could also wait for what will be announced by DSI at NAMM and postpone any purchase to the time after that. If, however, the Prophet 12 is already something you'd be interested in anyway, no matter what will be announced later on, then there's also the option of getting it as a desktop module, which is far more comfortable to use than the Desktop Evolver.
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2017, 03:49:35 PM »
To state the obvious, only you know what your musical needs are, so we can only comment on each instrument. 

It's hard to conceive of an Evolver Desktop and a Prophet 12 in one thought, since the two are so utterly different.  Even putting the monophonic/polyphonic issue aside (and I would expect that would be a main deciding factor), the tonal range of each instrument is very different.  The Evolver has much more of a digital character, with its 92+ wave shapes, whereas the P12 offers a much more limited range and struck me as being basically an analog instrument with a small number of digital wave shapes included.  Granted, the P12 has other means of producing digital timbres, and I'm simplifying its versatility, but I didn't find a lot of timbral crossover between the two instruments. 

The Evolver Desktop, if you can adapt to the matrix panel, is a remarkably complex and unique-sounding mono synth with a broad stereo sound.  It's impossible to adequately compare it to a monstrous poly synth like the P12.  But, in terms of timbres, I would say the Rev2 and P12 have much more in common than the Rev2 and the Evolver.

On the mystery of the Evolver's missing rubber buttons, I wonder if that might be a reference to the small square rubber feet on the bottom of the instrument.  They're only glued on, and these definitely fall off in time, as have the feet on my Prophet '08.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 04:07:23 PM by Sacred Synthesis »

Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2017, 04:09:52 PM »
Bumpons, buttons, etc.
Sequential / DSI / Pioneer stuff: OB-6 Desktop, Prophet 12 Desktop, Mono Evolver Keyboard, Pro 2, TORAIZ AS-1, Prophet-600 Gligli, Prophet 2000

chysn

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Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2017, 09:16:16 PM »
On the mystery of the Evolver's missing rubber buttons, I wonder if that might be a reference to the small square rubber feet on the bottom of the instrument.  They're only glued on, and these definitely fall off in time, as have the feet on my Prophet '08.

Oh, yeah, good call. If that's all it is, you can get those at any home improvement store for practically nothing. They're not even glued on, it's more like double-sided tape.

The Desktop Mopho used two different sizes of these things, to make it tilt forward a little.
DSI: DSM03; previously: Mopho Keyboard, Desktop Mopho, Evolver, DSM01
Hardware: Eurorack, Arturia MicroBrute
Software: macOS, Ableton, MuseScore2
Modular Grid: https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/354385
GitHub: https://github.com/chysn

Gerry Havinga

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Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2017, 07:44:08 AM »
Thank you all for your answers. Very enlightening and I've come to the conclusion that it is probably not worth pursuing. I do own already a very interesting wave-table based instrument, the Waldorf Blofeld. I should pursue and investigate it more in depth and not give in to my GAS urges.  ;)
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Bitwig v1 and v2. Trying to become daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541

Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2017, 07:48:35 AM »
Yes, I think that's a wise decision.  There certainly would be overlap between a Blofeld and an Evolver.  Take the time to work deeply with what you already have, rather than accumulate many things that you'll probably use only superficially.

Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2017, 03:21:35 AM »
You always get the Evolver while you save up for the P12? You're not going to loose on it at 350 (you might even gain) and you could easily find a friend for life.

Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2017, 03:22:08 AM »
And then be annoyed they don't make them any more...

Gerry Havinga

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  • Really enjoying creating sounds and composing.
Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2017, 04:51:43 AM »
You always get the Evolver while you save up for the P12? You're not going to loose on it at 350 (you might even gain) and you could easily find a friend for life.
Very true, but it was just a case of stuck GAS for me. I have quite enough variation sound making equipment at the moment. I really want to focus on getting DAW-less. Either building my own (polyphonic) MIDI step sequencer or purchasing one next year.

In general I buy second hand kit in person, so I can try it out. If the missing rubber buttons would be an issue I would just say no thanks and walk away. Perhaps for the Evolver my GAS desires aren't so intense. A Novation Peak of Subsequent 37 ...... hmmmmmm, in that case I am hearing burble noises indeed. I haven't seen many of those second hand "happily" :)
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Bitwig v1 and v2. Trying to become daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541

Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2017, 05:42:33 AM »
There's never too much variation.

Gerry Havinga

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  • Really enjoying creating sounds and composing.
Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2017, 05:44:10 AM »
There's never too much variation.
:) yeah well said ..... This is not helping  ;)
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Bitwig v1 and v2. Trying to become daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541

Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2017, 12:29:45 AM »
In the spirit of "not helping," I've just returned to Berlin after being two months away from my Evolver. Sooooo pleased to have it front of me again! I adore that thing. The main inspiration for getting one was this very forum, I have to say.

The thing just sounds GOOD. Objectively, subjectively etc!

Gerry Havinga

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  • Really enjoying creating sounds and composing.
Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2017, 07:27:45 AM »
Choices, choices, choices. Funnily enough the Evolver desktop disappeared from the second hand trade site, to later re-appear for the same asking price but with slightly different text (same seller). The story about the buttons is more clear now. Apparently the seller lost the rubber top of the buttons. That is why he has reduced the price from 375 to 350 Euros. I don't believe that is enough, just the shipping costs for those buttons would probably be already that much.

Does anybody have any idea how much those rubber buttons cost and how many I would need? I am thinking of putting an offer in for 100 Euros less and see what happens  :D
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Bitwig v1 and v2. Trying to become daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541

Gerry Havinga

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  • Really enjoying creating sounds and composing.
Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2017, 07:29:36 AM »
And the Evolver features in the Push Turn Move interface design book, which of course re-kindled my interest  :)
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Bitwig v1 and v2. Trying to become daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541


Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2017, 08:45:06 AM »
Do you mean these?

https://www.davesmithinstruments.com/product/evolver-knob-kit/

Yeah, this is the official replacement kit in the Prophet style. The original knob caps looked different, though. Maybe DSI still have some lying around in their office. So I'd suggest getting in touch with the support.
Ableton Live 9 Suite & Push 2 (macOS) | Arturia BeatStep Pro | DSI Pro 2 | KMI QuNexus | Korg Volca Beats | Moog MF-104M Analog Delay | Moog Minitaur | Moog Model 15 App | Moog Sub 37 Tribute Edition | Sequential Prophet-6

Gerry Havinga

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  • Really enjoying creating sounds and composing.
Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2017, 08:58:00 AM »
Do you mean these?

https://www.davesmithinstruments.com/product/evolver-knob-kit/
Thanks Sacred, I am not sure if these are the buttons he refers to. I asked him to sent me a detail picture of the "missing" rubber tops. The picture he has posted with the advertisement looks OK. On the same spares part page you posted, there is also a ROM (3.x firmware upgrade) advertised. Does that mean the Evolver desktop is not sys-ex/USB firmware upgrade-able?  In that case I need to know of course what the firmware version is of the 2nd hand unit.
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Bitwig v1 and v2. Trying to become daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541

Gerry Havinga

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  • 180
  • Really enjoying creating sounds and composing.
Re: Should I buy second hand Evolver desktop (missing rubber buttons)
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2017, 09:02:19 AM »
Do you mean these?

https://www.davesmithinstruments.com/product/evolver-knob-kit/

Yeah, this is the official replacement kit in the Prophet style. The original knob caps looked different, though. Maybe DSI still have some lying around in their office. So I'd suggest getting in touch with the support.
Thanks Paul, let's see what the seller is willing to show me. I am not sure he is referring to these buttons. If the pins on the encoders / pots are standard I might even have some spare (universal) knobs lying around to get me started.

I added a copy of the jpeg the seller has added to the ad. It might be a stock image, not sure.
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet Rev2 and Evolver desktop, Waldorf Blofeld, Roland System-1, Korg Microstation, Nord Rack 2, Akai S5000, Dato DUO, Bitwig v1 and v2. Trying to become daw-less...

https://soundcloud.com/user-252754541